Interview with Eli Matthewson, Snort

"More niche audiences are coming out to see things, which means a group like ours which has a pretty minimal amount of straight white men has been able to find success."

Interview with Eli Matthewson, Snort

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

I'm Eli Matthewson, I'm a stand-up from NZ who also gets together once a week (or every night in Edinburgh) with my stunning, faultless and truly gorgeous improv group Snort.

How would you describe your show?

Snort is an improv show where we get a word from the audience, get a guest comedian to spin some yarns on that word, then we make scenes out of their yarns. This ain't your daddy's improv though - it's fast, loud and non-stop fun. But also - your daddy is welcome, we don't discriminate. 

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

Edinburgh is the biggest festival in the world and we want to prove we are the best at what we do - it's like a Step-Up movie for us. Except it's improv instead of dance. And we wear less baggy pants.

What differentiates it from other festivals?

 It's as far away from New Zealand as you can get, so for us that adds a bit of mystique: can we take the longest flight path there is and still be funny.

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

All of us grew up watching things like Christopher Guest films, Garth Marenghi's Darkplace, and watching our own Kiwi legends Flight of the Concords making it big. We got into comedy because nothing makes us happier than making people laugh together.

If you didn’t have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

I'd probably be a school teacher, so I could still have a captive audience to try and entertain. (I would bomb).

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

King of Edinburgh. Where do you apply? Can you be my reference?

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

I played one of the three little speckled frogs sitting on a speckled log

Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

 Yeah, but luckily in improv we truly jump into the abyss every night, instead of heading into a show trying to tackle a specific social issue. Maybe that emerges, but mostly we leave that to our stand-up shows (come and see all of our solos too!)

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I think there has been a shift in public sentiment in that more niche audiences are coming out to see things, which means a group like ours which has a pretty minimal amount of straight white men has been able to find success.

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Climate change real, I guess 

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

The original improvisor - Jesus Christ. When he made water into wine - what an offer!  

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

 I would say "Don't ask me, I'm also new to this!"

When and where can people see your show?

Snort is at 11pm every night at Pleasance Courtyard. We also all have solo shows in the fest - mine is called An Inconvenient Poof and is at 9.20 at Underbelly George Square!  

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

Snort is @SNORTCOMEDY on all platforms, I am at @ELIMATTHEWSON

You can see Snort at Pleasance Upstairs from 1st-25th August at 11pm. For tickets, please visit

Header Image Credit: Provided.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe..

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